‘Empathy not threats’: Stars speak up on Duterte’s ‘shoot-to-kill’ order
MANILA, Philippines — Celebrities have stepped up in voicing their concerns about the government’s response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, especially after President Rodrigo Duterte made his threats Wednesday night against those who would violate the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.
The President, in his address to the nation, warned that those involved in riots will be detained, in reference to the 20 rallyists in Quezon City belonging to an urban poor organization who were arrested after protesting the lack of support from the local government.
“Don’t test the Filipino. Do not try to test it. You know, we are ready for you. Violence or shooting or killing, I will not hesitate to order my soldiers to shoot you. I will not hesitate to order the police to arrest and detain you,” Duterte said in a mix of Filipino and English.
Actress Liza Soberano gave a short and direct statement on Twitter early Thursday morning: “What our people need now is empathy not threats.”
What our people need now is empathy not threats.
— Liza Soberano (@lizasoberano) April 1, 2020
Nadine Lustre likewise shared on Instagram Stories that her anxiety was acting up due to the government’s actions.
“Kahapon lang April Fools, pero bakit parang ilang weeks na tayong naglolokohan??!”
(Yesterday was April Fools, but why does it seem like we have been fooling around for weeks?)
She wrote, “(COVID-19) exposed the government for what it really is. The people need help, compassion (minus Koko [Pimentel]) and transparency, not threats and lies.”
Alessandra de Rossi and KC Concepcion were among those who suggested alternatives to address what the vulnerable sectors need.
“Bat umabot na naman sa patayan? Di ba pwedeng batuhin nalang ng pancit canton, ganyan?” de Rossi quipped, referring to the popular relief goods staple.
(Why did it have to reach the point of killing again? Can’t it be [solved with] throwing pancit canton?)
Bat umabot na naman sa patayan? Di ba pwedeng batuhin nalang ng pancit canton, ganyan? 😑
— alessandra de rossi (@msderossi) April 1, 2020
“Patayan agad-agad ang pinag-usapan? Ano ba yan. Di ba pwedeng… pan de sal, pansit, bitamina (na lang)?” Concepcion said.
(Killing is what was discussed straightaway? What is that? Can’t it be… pandesal, pancit, vitamins instead?)
Patayan agad agad ang pinagusapan? Ano ba yan. Di ba pwedeng… pan de sal, pansit, bitamina nalang?
— Kristina ‘KC’ Concepcion (@itskcconcepcion) April 1, 2020
Chienna Filomeno said government should fear its people. “Wag na natin i-expect na ililigtas tayo ng tao na ang alam lang at gusto ay pumatay. We got this, Pilipinas. Sila dapat ang matakot sa atin.”
(Let us not expect to be saved by the people whose only resort was to kill. We got this, Philippines. It’s them who should be afraid.)
Wag na natin i-expect na ililigtas tayo ng tao na ang alam lang at gusto ay pumatay. We got this, Pilipinas. Sila dapat ang matakot sa atin.
— Chienna Filomeno (@ChieFilomeno) April 1, 2020
Singer Gary Valenciano made an appeal to officials during the time of crisis: “To all leaders of the Philippines, you all have worked hard to get to where you are today. Please, for the sake of the people you serve, set aside all other agendas and let the worst of times bring out the best in you.”
To all leaders of the Philippines, you all have worked hard to get to where you are today. Please, for the sake of the people you serve, set aside all other agendas and let the worst of times bring out the best in you.
— GARY VALENCIANO (@GaryValenciano1) April 1, 2020
Social media has also been the platform of choice for celebrities gathering donations for causes they support as the country fights the coronavirus pandemic.
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